The Lost Joy of the Clothesline.

Via Jeff Bogart
on Aug 31, 2012
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Where have all the clotheslines gone?

“Do you sell clothes pins?” I asked the young shelf stocker at my neighborhood grocery store.

“Clothes pins?!” he repeated loud enough that even a few other customers looked at me.

(Truthfully, I might as well have asked him where the payphone was). He politely told me to wait while he got his manager. The manager led me to the clothes pins. Looking at them, I thought: These are not my mother’s clothes pins.

You see, I’m old enough to remember when nearly every household had a clothes line in the backyard. Dryers were considered a luxury, not a necessity. Hanging and taking down clothes was a daily ritual for mothers. It was social affair too. Women chatted and caught up on the latest gossip, and as kids, we thought we were being naughty running through the neighbor’s sheets hanging on the line.

“Tee hee hee,” we’d giggle.

But the Maytag man and sheer convenience made the clothesline obsolete. Even some tiny neighborhoods started passing ordinances banning clotheslines in yards. I guess seeing your neighbor’s bloomers blowing in the wind isn’t chic.

Too bad, though, because there is nothing quite like a load of laundry purely dried by the sun and wind. And now through a good part of October, most of North America can experience the pleasure of having a clothesline and harnessing the power of the sun and wind. The weather is ideal.

But it’s about more than just the smell and feel of the laundry.

I use a clothesline because it’s not wasteful. Did you know that your clothes dryer can be one of the biggest energy hogs in your house? And it can account for nearly six percent or more of your energy needs.

Sometimes the best investments are simply just not being wasteful and making an effort to take advantage of resources that are free, like the sun and wind. That’s not even low hanging fruit; that’s fruit on the ground.

Oh, and about those clothes pins. You can find durable clothespins that your mother or grandmother would approve of at your local hardware store.


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Editor: Brianna Bemel


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About Jeff Bogart

Jeff Bogart is a Registered Investment Advisor who lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He has been practicing yoga for over eight years and has been helping people with their investment and planning issues for over 25 years. He recently decided to merge two of his passions, yoga and investing and created the website He and his Belgian sheepdog, Carlos Santana, participate in Therapy Dog programs, specifically, hospital and nursing home visits and children’s reading programs.


5 Responses to “The Lost Joy of the Clothesline.”

  1. Bryonie Wise says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, Jeff!

  2. ann says:

    i've lived in england, the philippines and now france, and i assure you, even in the rainiest climes, it's americans who are addicted to their driers…the vast majority of the rest of the world still hang-dries! (and your clothes last longer!)

  3. sunshinemore says:

    I'll tell you what happened to clothes lines-all the suburban neighborhood's homeowner's associations outlawed them! When I asked why, I was told they looked "messy and unkept". Absolutely ridiculous! These same associations also try to tell you what kind of fences you can and can't have, approved paint colors for homes, times you are allowed to have your garbage can out, I could go on, but I'm sure many of you know what I'm referring to.

  4. ann says:

    "little boxes made of ticky-tacky…"

  5. tatumann says:

    Love it. Thanks for the reminder! I usually gush about using my clothesline to save energy and for the feel (plus there the sunlight is a natural stain remover on those whites!) But over the past month, I've been so busy that I allowed myself to get lazy. Well after just one month in the clothes dryer, some of my favorite clothes look more worn than ever. Back to the clothesline for me!